PRESENTED BY:- E. HALAKE, SS HEAD OF KENYA’S WILDLIFE INVESTIGATIONS. OVERVIEW OF WILDLIFE CRIME IN AFRICA: A CASE OF KENYA.
PRESENTATION OUTLINE Introduction to KWS Importance of wildlife in Kenya 3. Nature of Wildlife and other environmental crimes Wildlife Smuggling/Ivory trafficking Enforcement efforts 6. Kenya’s Uniqueness as a Source & Transit country 7. Constraints and challenges in combating wildlife crime 8. Lessons learnt in “OPS Cobra”
1.0 KWS MANDATE Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) is a State Corporation established under the Wildlife (Conservation and Management) Act (CAP 376) Laws of Kenya With the mandate to conserve and manage wildlife inKenya and enforce related laws and regulations.
1.1 Wildlife Conservation Areas • KWS oversees approximately 8 per cent of the country’s landmass: • 22 National Parks = 30,348.29 km2 (5.2%) • 28 National Reserves = 16,478.40 km2 (2.8%) • 4 National Sanctuaries = 71.34 km2 (0.01%) • 6 Marine National Reserves = 706 km2 (0.12%) • 4 Marine National Parks = 70.09 km2 (0.01%) • Controls 125 game stations outside protected areas
1.2 Why conserve wildlife?? • The prevention and combating of crime involving natural resources such as water, forests, wildlife and the environment in general is a primary concern of most governments, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. • This is because the economies of sub-Saharan Africa are primarily dependent on natural resources and tourism based on wildlife. • Thus, any crime committed involving natural resources not only degrades the environment, but also threatens national economies and deprives the local population of their basic needs/rights.
2.0 Role of Wildlife in NATIONAL development • Contribution to the National Economy • 70% of the tourism product, 10% of the national economy • employment and business opportunities • 8% of land mass • As a National Heritage • national pride • international and national obligation to protect biodiversity • Water towers
Cont………… • Energy Sector • Hydro and Geothermal Sources • Provides Ecosystem & Social Services • Carbon sink, stress relief, opportunity to relax and bond with family and friends • Source of raw medicinal and cosmetic products • Bio-prospecting and intellectual property
3.0 Nature of environmental crime • Organised • Transnational • High profit margins • Low risk • Low detection and conviction rates • Facilitated by corruption, poverty, instability
3.1 Wildlife Crime! • Shifting patterns of world development have negative ramifications on wildlife conservation . • Some of the far east countries are slowly but steadily emerging as an affluent society. Their culture with high appetite for wildlife and its products in Africa may spell doom for wildlife conservation in Africa. • Demand in Wildlife products (Ivory & Rhino horns) by consumer market is the key causative factor driving poaching of Elephants and Rhinos. • Some forms of Wildlife/environmental crimes in Kenya and indeed in our region includes;- “ The ugly scenes of Nature based crimes”
Distribution Of Elephants In Africa Map courtesy of www.freewebs.com/elephantsinfo
4.0 Elephant ivory/Rhino horn trafficking Heavily implicated destination: Vietnam, China, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia,
Forms in which they are trafficked • The ivory & rhino horns are either fresh stock from freshly poached elephants or old stock that has been hidden and collected over time. • The ivory is trafficked as either raw ivory, worked ivory, or raw cut pieces of ivory. • The rhino horns are mostly trafficked as raw (unworked) horns.
5.0 KWS Interdiction Efforts • Sniffer dog unit. • KWS established the Port Unit. • Inter agency investigations & ops. • Stakeholder awareness and sensitization campaign • Building regional collaboration and linkages e.g.Wen, • Strengthen wildlife enforcement • Capacity building • Review of legislation
6.0 Kenya's uniqueness • Kenya shares a long porous border with some unstable neighbors. • Proliferation of small arms into Kenya from unstable countries poses insecurity for wildlife. • The high influx & concentration of refugees in parts of the country. • Lucrative Proceeds from illegal trade in wildlife and their products is attractive and irresistible.
Kenya’s strategic location • Kenya’s strategic location makes it the key link between Eastern African countries and the world. • International airport and National air carrier (KQ & its alliances) is the hub of Eastern African air transport and is the busiest airport in the region. • The Sea Port serves as a major route for exports/imports of goods & hub providing connections to other Eastern African landlocked countries and the World.
7.0Key challenges • Weak legislation – non deterrent sentences • Inadequate cooperation and collaboration of LEAs – call for global action. • Strong demand for wildlife & its derivatives in consumer states; lucrative illicit market driven by the economics & strong cultural beliefs • Inadequate capacity in law enforcement e.g. investigations and prosecutions • Corruption both in judiciary & enforcement levels • Inadequate public support due to lack of awareness & education
8.0 lessons learnt in ops Cobra • Opportunity for strengthened interagency cooperation both at local, regional and international level. • High confidence and trust level between and amongst LEAs and officers particularly at consumer and source countries thro’ joint coordination team from a central point i.e. established points of contacts. • Quick & swift intelligence sharing between the source & consumer countries for effective & efficient ops results • Capacity building through joint ops planning & review meetings.
Exchange of best practices and experiences at ops level • Profiles wildlife crime as a transnational organized crime and thereby creates awareness and education both at local and international level through media releases. • Provides an avenue for raising joint support for coordinated wildlife enforcements actions • Creates a sense of commitment and accountability for participating countries in terms of prosecutions, resources etc • Standardize our ops thro SOPs and guidelines
CONCLUSION UK House of Commons 2004 observed ‘The link between wildlife crime and other serious crimes, the clear and growing involvement of organized crime, and the increased reliance on the internet for illegal trade in protected species makes the argument for spending time and resources on this area of crime compelling’
Let us all do something about the problem ! gentlemen first…in this case?
THANK YOU The East Asia judiciary “Say Yes for Environmental protection & Conservation.”